Internal conflict:

* Wanting to build online RPGs inspired by classic TTRPGs with monsters and loot.

* Wanting to only make pacifistic games, because "Kill 'Em All" gets boring after a while. ("Master Of Puppets" is better anyway - can we get some non-lethal political intrigue games, please?)

@InspectorCaracal but they're in conflict!

I can't stick to only making pacifist games, and then also make a game about randomly killing monsters for arbitrary loot.

@zatnosk but you can totally make a pacifist game about randomly ____ing monsters for loot with loose plot justifications and just fill in the blank with a verb that isn't "kill". 😉

@InspectorCaracal yeah, but can I build it as a federated MUD (#mudstodon) and let other people do their thing with content and dungeons and stuff, and still expect it to be pacifistic?

@zatnosk Depends on what you mean.

Can you build a game system based entirely on non-combat mechanics that still carries core TTRPG design concepts, that will continue being pacifist when running other people's campaigns (so to speak)? Definitely.

Can you build a pacifist open sourced game framework where people can't write their own combat mechanics into the codebase in their implementation? No, of course not, you can't control other people's server code.

@InspectorCaracal but.. core TTRPG design concepts ARE combat mechanics!?

Even Pokémon doesn't qualify as pacifist in my view.

So even if I could build a federated pacifist RPG, I don't think I could make it feel "old-school" :/

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@zatnosk Core TTRPG design concepts are the division of natural characteristics into a handful of numerical stats and using those numbers to affect a semi-randomized contest of abilities.

Pokemon isn't even remotely pacifist, or a TTRPG, so I'm not sure why you mentioned it. >.>

@zatnosk Oh, I forgot the improvement of skills and characteristics being represented by the increase of the numbers according to a system of achievement driven by assigning scores to challenges

@zatnosk Anyway all you need to do to make a pacifist TTRPG style game is replace physical damage to HP with a different progress meter. Hostility Points reaching zero, say.

@InspectorCaracal @zatnosk I remember one pet-critter-collecting videogame in development that replaced combat with dance-offs. Replaced HP with confidence points. I wish I could remember the name. Starts with O, I think

@InspectorCaracal Oh, right. You have a point there. But everything but the combat just feels so impotent in that model. Probably because I'm most used to D&D where combat "contests" are "do I hit and damage with my weapon" and every other contest is "I want to do something, do I succeed?".

@InspectorCaracal I don't know why I mentioned pokemon, either. It's combat mechanics where nobody dies?
I think it was a reaction to your earlier toot:
> randomly ____ing monsters for loot with loose plot justifications and just fill in the blank with a verb that isn't "kill"

@zatnosk Right, because they focused on combat. So you apply that idea of progress on a cgoal - the reduction of HP to zero, in combat - with a different progress meter. Then you focus on skills and actions targetted towards that type of challenge and progress meter.

@InspectorCaracal sounds like you'd do a better job of designing such a game than me :P

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